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This documentary was made as part of the collaboration between Het Taalmuseum and the Rotterdamsch Leeskabinet of Erasmus University. Together they organize an annual afternoon full of Surinamese language and culture. During the first edition in 2022, Arnold Schalks told his story about the making of Someni tongo: Schalks’ adaptation of Dobru's famous poem "Wan" into a Dadaist, simultaneous recital. After an introduction, he showed the audience the registration from 2008, recorded live in the STVS studio in Paramaribo, Suriname.

After showing Someni tongo, many members of the audience were left speechless. In Someni tongo, many different population groups stand together on a stage. Each group recites the same text - Wan by Dobru - but in their own language. "This is how Suriname should be," said a lady from the audience, "living together, despite the differences in language and color."

On May 9 2023, Oldmates and Fresco Sam-Sin were guests of Arnold Schalks in his studio. There, Schalks retold his story in front of our camera.


Video: Oldmates, Leiden

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